Training after an Ironman distance triathlon
When training for an Ironman there is much to learn about how to train and to learn about yourself.
Most focus on what to do before the an Ironman distance triathlon but after the race there is also a lot to learn about the training before you did for your race.
What should you do in the hours after an ironman?
First and most important is to enjoy your performance. Doing an ironman is no easy task so suck it all in – these moments are rare in life and make sure you enjoy it.
Next you should get something to eat and start to make your body recover. Some are very specific about that they eat. Personally I enjoy eating what I feel like. I try and keep my focus on the special moment it is to finish an Ironman and enjoy every moment of it. I work hard and for many months before my races and when they are there I try and live only in that moment.
The day after.
The day after it would be good to do some kind of light training. If you don’t feel like it then don’t do anything, but it will make your muscles feel better faster. After a race your body feels stiff and not very flexible. Light training where you focus on relaxed movement will make your muscles feel more relaxed.
I am convinced that it’s not so much the muscles but more the mind that benefits for this training. Give you mind a memory of relaxed and enjoyable training and you will bounce back to feeling normal more quickly.
What if I am still tired.
Many athletes feel tired for weeks after an ironman. I am convinced that if you need more than a few weeks to feel great after an ironman then you have overdone the training leading into the race and have done the race with too much fatigue in you body and you performance was not optimal – even if you raced better than you thought you could.
Understand that you might have overdone the training and try before you next race to not push yourself so hard that you need several weeks to recover – you will race better and enjoy the great lifestyle of triathlon much faster after the race instead of not being able to train… which in the end will cause a bit loss in you fitness which you then have to rebuild.
Take the chance after a big race to learn from what you did, adjust your training according to it and keep improving.